K-12 state tests for Clark, Champaign schools ongoing through COVID pandemic

Ohio K-12 students have started taking annual state exams after months of debate whether testing will be held this year.

The testing windows opened in late March and schools have until mid-May to finish.

English tests can be given between March 22-May 7, while math, science and social studies tests can be given March 29-May 21, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Each school picks a three-week period within each testing window to give their tests.

All schools in Clark and Champaign counties started testing last week or this week.

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In Clark County, Tecumseh Local Schools, Kenton Ridge High School and Clark-Shawnee Local Schools will hold testing through April and the beginning of May; Northeastern High School and Greenon Local Schools will hold testing through April.

In Champaign County, Graham Local Schools, Urbana City Schools, Triad Local Schools and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village Schools will all hold testing through April and the beginning of May.

Testing for in-person and virtual learners must be done in person as virtual tests are not allowed due to technology and security requirements, according to ODE.

Ohio students in grades 3 through 8 take English and math state tests every year, and they take science tests in grades 5 and 8. In high school, students take seven exams including English I, English II, algebra I, geometry, biology, American history, and American government.

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Each state test is broken into two 75- to 105-minute sections. An average student will have four to six test sections this spring, totaling 5 to 9 hours worth of testing, according to ODE.

Several legislators from both parties pushed a bill to cancel Ohio’s spring 2021 state testing, in light of COVID disruptions. But almost all state testing is federally mandated, and the Biden administration decided not to offer waivers.

ODE officials say tests show how students are growing in the knowledge and skills outlined in Ohio’s Learning Standards.

“These tests help guide and strengthen future teaching so we can be sure that we are preparing our students for long-term success in school, college, careers and life. Test results also allow citizens to know how their local schools are performing compared to others around the state,” ODE officials said.